Project 3

my podcast about wildfires

My Podcast Rationale/Reflection

Creating my podcast was a difficult process. I had never made a podcast before, and it ended up taking up a lot more of my time and energy than I had originally expected it to take. My group decided to concentrate on environmental issues, and we each branched out into separate issues for our podcasts. I decided to revolve mine around the positive aspects of forest and wildfires. I decided on this because I felt that most people, especially due to the commonly recognized phrase “Only YOU can prevent forest fires,” spoken by Smokey Bear, do not realize that controlled forest and wildfires can actually be very helpful and beneficial to the environment. It can also benefit the natural habitats of many animals, too.

I decided to begin my podcast with the sounds of a forest fire. I hoped that it would be recognizable, and combined with the sound of a woman screaming, I hoped to allude to the fear and distaste that most people find in forest fires. I followed this with the common Smokey Bear phrase already mentioned. I originally was going to use the actual sound clip of Smokey Bear speaking, but I could only find clips that played music in the background and it sounded too cutesy, so I decided to record my friend’s voice instead. Because the government decided to use such a cutesy and childish image to portray such an important topic as forest and wildfire prevention, I wanted my podcast to be sort of satirical. I aimed for it to seem equally cutesy by using a little boy as the main speaker. I wanted to make Smokey Bear seem unintelligent and uneducated on the subject, showing that he really is just a cute image with nothing much to him. I also chose to use the song “The Cirlce Of Life” because it is also from a “cutesy” movie, The Lion King, but sends a powerful message about how forest and wildfires are part of the environment’s natural circle of life. It is a highly recognized song, so opted out of using the main words of the song, since I figured that it would be fairly easy to make the connection as to why I chose that specific song for my podcast. I ended the pod cast with the song “Disco Inferno” because, not only does it say “Burn, Baby, Burn,” but it also is a fairly humorous song to conclude a serious topic, and I wanted to keep up with my satirical element of humor in my project.

When playing around on Garage Band on the Mac computers during class, I found the program fairly simple to use and really enjoyed it. Unfortunatley, I do not have a Mac, so I had to download Audacity for Windows 7 in order to create my podcast. I found it much more difficult to use. In addition to this, it also did not come with the pre-loaded sound clips that Garage Band came with. This required me to think more outside the box as to what sound clips I would use to make my podcast come to life. I ran into some trouble trying to find a realistic sounding forest fire, as well as a woman screaming that did not sound as if she was getting murdered. I also had a hard time in blending my different clips and voice elements together. Altering my voice was also very difficult. My voice always came out much too high pitched or much too deep. Finally I was able to change it so that it sounded like a child, and that was when the idea of Timmy Reynolds came to mind, birthing the overall execution of the message that I was trying to get across.

Overall, I found this project to be difficult, but fun. Though my podcast turned out fairly choppy and is clearly the work of an amateur, or even more so, a first timer, I think that it portrayed my message clearly and showed my true voice. While my podcast may seem to be too childish, I feel that the deeper, satirical message is pretty apparent, especially when comparing it to the original messages of Smokey Bear which have been broadcasted on television for so many decades.

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